Monday, September 17, 2012

A Conversation with a Stranger #1

I am forever talking to strangers, and if I were a little girl, that would not be a good thing, but since I am a grown-up, at least physically, what harm can it do? I mean, besides embarrass my kids if they are with me?

Today Jim and I went shopping at Wal-Mart. Not my favorite place to go grocery shopping, but since I had to return something that broke when I took it out of the package, I had no choice. Plus I needed some groceries so I thought I'd tackle two jobs at once.

Jim was off wondering in the auto department, I think. I was walking up and down the beauty supply aisles. Another woman was doing the same thing.

"Looks like we're walking in circles," she commented.

I agreed with her.

I couldn't seem to find what I needed and neither could she. I asked her what she was looking for and she told me, "VO 5 oil treatment."

I found it a little farther down on the shelf and said, "Here it is!"

She was very grateful to me.

I am a firm believer in helping others find things on shelves because maybe they could help me, too. Another woman pushed her cart by and had that glazed over look.

"What are you looking for?" I asked.

"I'm looking for soap refill."

"Oh, like this?" I just happened to put a bottle in my cart and I held up a bottle of this:

"Yes," she said, "but I use 'Equate', the Wal-Mart equivalent."

I pushed my cart over to hers and pointed, "Well, I found this soft soap right there," and pointed two aisles over.

She said "thanks" and I thought that was the end of it.

I was still on the hunt for a particular beauty item and ended up going down the soap aisle where I ran into the "soap" lady.

"Did you find what you were looking for?" I asked.

"Yes! Right here!"

She began telling me how great this soap feels on your hands.


"Yes. I used it once and thought maybe the person made a mistake and filled the soap dispenser with hand cream instead! It is so creamy! Do you like your soap?"


"Does it feel thick like that?" (This was beginning to sound like a commercial!)

"It does. But now you're making me want to try the other brand. Is it cheaper?" (Usually off brands are cheaper.) It was only a dime cheaper.

We began to compare the ingredients. They were identical.

We sniffed both soap bottles.

They smelled the same.

Meanwhile Jim had come up to me, saw me talking to a stranger, did an inside eye roll and walked away with the grocery list and cart in hand.

"Soap lady" and I were done with the comparison test.

It was settled,. I decided on buying the off brand.

She said, "Do you live around here?"

I confirmed that I did.

"I would LOVE to know how you like this soap. Why don't you give me a call and tell me if you like it?" She dug through her purse till she found a business card and handed it to me.

Her name was Patti.

"How soon will you be using it?" Patti asked.

"Well," I said, "I need to fill my bathroom dispenser today."

"Oh good. So I'll be hearing from you soon."

We said our goodbyes and went our different ways.

I came home and filled all my soap dispensers.

And you know what?

I LOVE the soap! It smells nice AND my hands are real soft.

I called Patti's home phone and I assume it was her husband who answered. She wasn't home and I thought that by the time I left a whole convoluted message, I'd better just call her cell phone. So I did just that, but she didn't answer her cell. Probably thought: "I don't recognize that phone number! I'm not going to answer it! I DID leave a message on her cell and told her how much I liked the soap. I told her that I had an enjoyable day at Wal-Mart chatting with her. In fact, I thought I was going to write about it on my blog." Then I hung up.

Then I started thinking about HER thinking about ME writing about HER on my blog. I have her name and phone number. I didn't want her to regret giving me this information and thing, "OMG I gave this information to some weirdo and now I'm going to be all over the internet!"

SOOOOO, I called her back and left ANOTHER message stating that she need not worry, that I would not mention her full name, nor disclose any other information about her on the blog. Whew!

I probably will never see this woman again. I scared the heck out of her.

I guess this is why I have no friends and have to resort to talk to strangers!



Monkey Man said...

but ya like the soap,

Lois Evensen said...

You are so funny! I talk with strangers, too, often in yarn aisles. And, as far as the Equate brand is concerned, I like it, too. When we are at sea we are only in a US port on Sundays when I can go ashore and shop. That means Walmart since that's the only store open at the time (Walgreens is open, too, but is further away). Yep, I'm in Walmart once a week buying my shampoo and other necessary items and talking with strangers, too. :)

Gail said...

And you are why I never talk to strangers....gotcha!!!!

Ami said...

Well, if she calls you after all that, it sounds like you may have made a friend. If she doesn't call you... well, maybe you'll be on HER blog, 'this wacky woman I met at walmart'

Brian Miller said...

haha...i love talking to strangers...i will talk to anyone...not usually about soap but hey you take what you can get...interesting her wanting you to tell her what you thought of the must have made some connection...


What a hoot. I too talk to strangers. What's the harm. I love helping people too. But one day at our walmart I helped direct an old lady into a parking space and then she told me she could not see. I'm thinking how the heck can you drive then if you can't see to part. Not sure. WE helped her inside the store and I told an employee she would need some help. Lots of help! Keep on trucking and talking, Pat. Blessings.

SquirrelQueen said...

I've done that in stores too. Striking up a conversation in the aisles is a good way to learn about products. My last time was in the pet food aisle.
I like the Equate brand of hand soap too.

Valerie said...

Me too, I always talk to strangers in the shops. Never got round to exchanging phone numbers

Mama Zen said...

I do this same thing in Wal-Mart!

DesertHen said...

I loved reading this! I talk to strangers too!

Snowflake said...

Pat, you make my day!! I love reading about your little adventures, whether it is out and about or just at your neighborhood Walmart!!! Glad you like the soap, I always buy the Equate brand, it seems to me that it has the same ingredients as the name brands but priced lower!!! :)

Eva Gallant said...

I talk to strangers all the time, too. My husband sometimes gets embarrassed!

Kathryn said...

It was funny because I was in Walmart the other day helping someone find something too and then they told me about a flea and tick treatment that walmart sell that's equivalent to frontline for about half the price. Not quite as nice as lovely smelling soap but you definitely get some useful information out of these random chats. :0)